There’s an easy way to lose weight, keep it off and be happier. It’s called the ‘Rule of 5’, it’s free, and it can make a huge difference to your life.
The rule is 5 is a simple way to improve your physical and mental health. It costs nothing (and will actually save you $) and doesn’t require any equipment.
So what is it?
It’s the 5 minutes you should never drive to run an errand (25 calories).
It’s the 5 minutes further away you can park from work or shopping (you’re up to 50 calories now). It’s the 5 minutes you walk if you get off one stop early when taking public transport (it will also make you happier).
It’s the 5 minutes you can walk before having breakfast and after eating dinner each day. (100 calories).
4 pockets of 5 minutes spent walking each day will burn approximately 36,000 extra calories per year – the same you would burn if you run 14 marathons…in one year.
Turning exercise into weight loss
But how do you turn your incremental exercise into weight loss? The key is to not change how you eat. At least not right away. It is more effective to take one thing at a time (we will discuss diet in a future post). For now, simply don’t add more food just because you’re moving for an extra 20 minutes each day.
Walking = More Smiles and better choices
As for happiness, there is now plenty of research which shows that walking improves mood, self-esteem and concentration. A California State University study found a clear and strong relationship between the number of steps participants took each day and their overall mood and energy level.
What’s even more interesting is that not only did mood change in the study participants, so did their energy levels as well as their attitude to food and diet. “The correlations between the number of steps and self-ratings indicated that when our participants walked more, they rated their diet as more nutritious. They also rated more highly their health, energy, overall mood, happiness and self-esteem, in that order” said Professor Robert Thayer, who led the study.
So even though you’re burning more calories each day, you’re actually feeling more energetic without the need to add food thanks to improved cardio vascular fitness and mental well-being. It’s a positive cycle.
It comes down to decisions
As Tony Robbins says, “every decision we make is dependent on our values. We make decisions that lean toward things we deem positive — our perceived pleasure… Raise your standards, or make a shift in your beliefs and values, and then you will make the right choices”.
So make the decision to embrace the ‘rule of 5.’ While that does require a commitment to change some existing behaviours – like getting off public transport one stop early, or not competing for the closest car park – those changes are easily maintainable and you can rely on your self-discipline until they become a habit.
You don’t need the closest car park to anything. Grab the furthest and enjoy a stroll. And if you find your 4 pockets of 5… in 27 days, you’ll have finished your first marathon!
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